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Flattered but not... - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
speakr2customrs
speakr2customrs
Flattered but not...
I've had a review of 'Came the Thunder' at 'Twisting the Hellmouth' saying:
"Good story ya? May I use Thunder in a story?"

The reviewer has only one story up at TtH, a 350-word opening chapter of a WIP, and it consists almost entirely of webcomic characters giving their names.

Is it hypocritical of me, when I have used characters belonging to Joss Whedon, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, Ed Greenwood, Robert Salvatore, and others in almost a million words of unofficial stories, for my immediate reaction to be to want to say "Over my dead body"?
28 comments or speak 2 me
Comments
bogwitch From: bogwitch Date: November 30th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, not least because your stories aren't your professional work. Fanfic is a promotion tool of a sort.
From: arkeus Date: November 30th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
It depends, i am feeling a good part of your response is because you feel the guy in question will use the character badly.

In that, it's understandable.

But, yeah, plagiarize of a fanfic, as long as it's not word for word, is completely ok for me.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I definitely think the guy(?) in question will use the character badly. If, for example, Marcus had asked the same question I'd have said yes without a second thought.
From: arkeus Date: December 1st, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
and this is why some authors are flat-out against fanfiction (like robin hobb).

But, yeah, you saying no is normal with such an author. You complaining if he goes ahead and does it... i don't know. It's not like it really means anything if you do complain.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've replied saying that I'd rather he didn't but I can't stop him if he goes ahead.
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: November 30th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I mostly feel dread, because I know this author will handle the character badly! Which is probably exactly how you feel. But that's an ethical question. You could argue that Joss basically said "Go forth and write fanfic" giving overt permission, and you aren't. Still, fine line...
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
My final answer was:

I can't really stop you using Thunder in a story - it would be somewhat hypocritical, as I have written over a million words of fic using characters created by other people - but I wouldn't be happy about it. You don't have a track record as a writer - one chapter added to someone else's story, and one 350-word opening chapter of a story which has now disappeared from the site (quarantined?) - and I can't assess your ability to do justice to her.

There are people who I would trust with Thunder, e.g. Marcus Rowland, Wispr, Quinara, Shadowscast, Curiouslywombat, and Vogonguard, and possibly Mediancat, but I have no way of knowing if you belong in that group.

If you repeat your request in grammatically correct Cheyenne I will give my unqualified approval.
From: arkeus Date: December 1st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol @ cheyenne.

Also, 'possibly' mediancat?
Mediancat is awesome!

don't knw who are Quinara and Shadowscast. Searching.
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: December 1st, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! Good answer!
paratti From: paratti Date: November 30th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nope.
slaymesoftly From: slaymesoftly Date: November 30th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is one of those "hmmmm" kind of things. I've had the "over my dead body" reaction, and yet...what if Joss had said that to us? What if he cared that so very many of the people playing in his sandbox are trashing it? (Not us, of course. We would be welcome contributors. *g*) My gut sense is that, "yes, it is hypocritical" but I'm right there with you. I'll be interested to see what the majority reaction is to your question.
petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: November 30th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nope.
janedavitt From: janedavitt Date: December 1st, 2009 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Not from where I'm sitting.
vikingprincess From: vikingprincess Date: December 1st, 2009 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
It might possibly be construed as hypocritical, but it's what I'd do, too. *winks*
rahirah From: rahirah Date: December 1st, 2009 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
That's one of those questions that I'm never sure how to answer. On the one hand, my visceral reaction is "MINE MINE ALL MINE!" But logically, if I write with other people's characters, I can't really object if other people do the same to me. Though personally, I have a policy of abiding by the creator's wishes re: fan fic. Joss is fine with it, the creators of ElfQuest were fine with it within certain limits, etc. I've never been moved to write in the universe of a creator ho hates it, so I'm not sure what I'd do in that case.

I have let other people use my original characters, though, and just asked for creator's credit in the author's notes. I suppose I've been lucky in that no one who's asked so far is someone I have qualms about lending them out to.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately this is someone I have serious qualms about - I wouldn't have minded if it had been you, or Marcus, or Quinara, or Shadowscast, or several others - but someone with only 350 words of (not well-written) fic to their name doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
From: peasant_ Date: December 1st, 2009 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't kid yourself, it is hypocritical, but it is also a perfectly valid and understandable reaction, and if your gut is to say no then you are perfectly entitled to say no. On the other hand, from personal experience, letting another writer play with your toys will do you absolutely no harm, and if they do it badly it serves to reflect a better light on you while if they do it well you will find yourself pleasantly delighted and having found a soul-mate.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
But I've already found my soul-mate! And you've met her!
troyguffey From: troyguffey Date: December 1st, 2009 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Thunder ROCKS!!

I'd ASK them to show you that they could do a decent job by taking up a challenge (maybe this one? ( http://www.tthfanfic.org/Challenge-3470/Xander+Harris+Agent+on+the+Hellmouth.htm :-) ) on TtH, write an in-character canon character, then you'll see.

You couldn't actually stop him, but he wants your blessing, so you have a bit of control.
audela From: audela Date: December 1st, 2009 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
It is hypocritical of you, and totally understandable.

I don't want to read about Thunder by anyone but you, or maybe someone whose work you approve of. And there's the rub--does your saying OK to someone using your character imply that you approve of the use they make of her? I don't think it does, but I think it feels that way.

f
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
My final answer was:
"I can't really stop you using Thunder in a story - it would be somewhat hypocritical, as I have written over a million words of fic using characters created by other people - but I wouldn't be happy about it. You don't have a track record as a writer - one chapter added to someone else's story, and one 350-word opening chapter of a story which has now disappeared from the site (quarantined?) - and I can't assess your ability to do justice to her.

There are people who I would trust with Thunder, e.g. Marcus Rowland, Wispr, Quinara, Shadowscast, Curiouslywombat, and Vogonguard, and possibly Mediancat, but I have no way of knowing if you belong in that group.

If you repeat your request in grammatically correct Cheyenne I will give my unqualified approval."
audela From: audela Date: December 2nd, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good answer! I especially like the last line--I wonder if they will try it?

f
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: December 1st, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've asked him/her to repeat the request in grammatically correct Cheyenne.
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: December 1st, 2009 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Is it hypocritical of me,...

I continue to maintain there is a big difference between professional writers who get paid for their work and people writing for fun. The former need, I think, to understand that their creations "become" the public's simply because they make money off the public's back with those creations; this does not apply to the latter. So, no. Not hypocritical at all.
From: arkeus Date: December 1st, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally disagree with that. You not selling it may be a good point- if you didn't use other people's character, other people's ideas and especially *if you never wanted to show what you wrote to nayone but a select few*.

Anyway, i am firmly in the 'understandable reaction, and saying no isn't hypocritical- after all, he asked you, which seems he wants to sort of believe you approve. HOWEVER, if he goes ahead, there is nothing you can do, and trying *will* be hypocritical'.
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: December 1st, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most people do. Always have, all the way back to first year law school when I'd be the only one saying things like "If it's okay for him to refuse to sign autographs after the game because his right to privacy trumps his self-inflicted celebrity status, that must mean it's at least morally okay for him to punch the autograph-insistent fan in the eye. Isn't that what you're saying?" when we'd be discussing fan-thrashing baseball/football/basketball players and privacy-related torts. But it's a different world, and perhaps you have a point in intimating that this outlook can't fit it with regard to the Internet since it arguably puts everyone who willingly use it willingly in the public eye. And that's a lot of people.
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: December 2nd, 2009 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I think that's a very reasonable reaction.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: December 2nd, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I once gave similar permission and the story STANK - it was dreadful!
28 comments or speak 2 me